How To Organise Your Day Without Freaking Out

Due to the busy and particularly varied nature of my job, along with the responsibility of keeping this here blog updated on a semi-regular basis; it could be easy for me to completely freak out over the sheer number of things that need doing.

Don’t get me wrong – I am very aware that there are others out there who probably have to juggle many other things on top of the day to day tasks that I have under my belt, but no matter how busy you are, a little time to get organised can make a hell of a difference.

Take for example an average day where I get to work and open my Inbox. It’s pretty full, and the tasks that lurk beyond the subject line are often urgent. So, instead of running away screaming, the first thing I’ll do is open my Google Calendar.

Anyone with a Google account has a Google Calendar. Here’s how to get to it:

The Long Way Round

  • Go to Google.com
  • Look at the top right hand corner – are you logged in? No? Well sort that out first.
  • Once logged in, click on the square grid (Apps). You’ll see the blue Calendar icon. Click on it.

The Short Way Round

Welcome to Google Calendar, the place of magic and dreams!

So, in order to sort my priorities out, the first thing I’ll do is add a block of time in my calendar for Email Admin.

Simply click on the block of time you want to use (e.g. click on the box next to 9am and a 1 hour slot will appear), then in the What box that pops up, type Email Admin – then click Add Event. Ta da! It’ll appear in your calendar like so:

Depending on the list of other stuff I need to get done, this can range from 1-2 hours of my time. It may seem like a lot, but that’s only going to get longer if I ignore it.

Now I have that hour or so on my side, I can work through the emails and start plotting time in my calendar around other planned tasks to complete the requests.

To put this into a blogging context, perhaps you’ve agreed to write a sponsored post and you say you’ll have it published by a particular date. You can now plot in the time to research, write and publish said post.

Back to my working day. Now I’ve found and prioritised all of the requests I’ve had sent through, I can start fitting in the other heftier tasks and projects around it. I can also have a clearer idea of the time I have for any meetings that are needed. Most importantly – I’ll always add in my 45 minutes for lunch!

Here’s an embarrassingly basic example below of how it ends up looking…

I’ll sometimes colour code particular events in a different colour, such as meetings or long term projects. You can change the colour of the blocks by clicking on the event block, Edit event, then scrolling down to Event Colour:

 

 

There’s a variety of other settings you can change on this page including amending the time so it’s shorter or longer, adding a description, inviting guests (for meetings), and more.

The example above would be a pretty straightforward day. The reality is that it won’t very often look like that! There will be blocks all over the place, but the beauty of this method is how easy it is to just drag and drop the boxes around depending on their priority.

What might initially look like twice (or three times) as much work as you can handle, can soon look like a clearly planned day/week/fortnight. No matter how up against it you are, you must always find time for time management.

All the above applies to work, blogging or general home life – it’s incredibly easy to plot out your day to make it seem less daunting, if you just take less than 10 minutes to do it!

If you have any questions, or any further recommendations then let me know in the comments!

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4 Comments

  1. April 12, 2015 / 12:40 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I'm stressing already about next week and the amount of work I need to get through in my day job. I've never really used Google calendars so going to have a play around, seems a lot more user friendly and flexible then the standard built in calendar in Outlook!
    Sarah – hereyoume.wordpress.com x

  2. April 12, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    You're welcome, hun! Honestly, I would explode with stress if I didn't use Google Calendars! It's very similar to Outlook, so if you do use Outlook at work for your emails, you can use that calendar instead. Or I believe you can sync them, so set everything up on Google Calendar, and it'll sync to Outlook! x

  3. April 12, 2015 / 6:28 pm

    Really informative post! I used to swear by Google calendars in my last job (which was advertising sales for a newspaper) as it was so intense and I always had a million and one things to do, I don't use it now as my job is a lot more relaxed paced and very dependent on who comes in, etc, so I can't plan in advance but I always have a to-do list on my desk. I don't know how people manage to get everything done without writing it down somewhere! xxx

  4. April 23, 2015 / 8:13 pm

    Thanks hun! I know, people seem confused at work about my calendar and assume I am constantly in meetings (we book all our meetings through Google calendar) so I have to explain "No, I just like a record"! x

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